Menopause Is A Sadistic B*

I realize that vast numbers of women have not gone through “the change” yet. I don’t want to scare you, but even if I do, you don’t have a choice. It’s inevitable. Hmmm… that should do it.

branson31

No, really… your experience could possibly be barely noticeable. That’s what I’ve read anyway. Of course I wasn’t so lucky. I would’ve been a fool to expect it to be. By the time you get to that point in your life, you’ve (hopefully) learned a thing or two.

Menopause is a sadistic bitch and there’s not much you can do about it. Not that you enjoy it. You’re trapped and getting the crap beaten out of you. But then again, maybe it’s more like a split personality, like Smeagol/Golum. A struggle with yourself. Eh, it’s both.

branson30

powellgardens8

My sister is in denial. She says “I don’t know why I just start crying for no reason.” She also mentions “I get these moments where I just feel like I’m burning up. I don’t understand it.” As a voice of experience I tell her she’s pre-menopausal. True to form she replies “Oh no. It can’t be that.”  Ok. Right. You’re past 50 and haven’t gone through it yet. Of course it’s not. Mine started at 44 and lasted about 5 years. I would count myself lucky if it hadn’t started till after I was 50. I’d like to call her an idiot for being so annoying, but I don’t. I just feel sorry for her. She’s unprepared and denial is fruitless, nay, harmful in this situation. The faster you realize what’s happening, the better off you’ll be. Up to a point. At the very best, you’ll know why you’re crying for no reason and that your body has been possessed by the hormonal demon. Hormonal demon… I just thought that up, but it’s so appropriate. What else would light you on fire several times a day without burning you? Or would make you fry in the middle of the night to where you wake up drenched in sweat? Only a demon, people. A hormonal demon.

I don’t want to sound whiny, but I had it worse than normal. I firmly believe that mine was triggered by the fact that I had just lost both parents within a year. Granted, one was my stepfather and there was no love lost there. However, I was laden with the burden of co-executor of the estate. I won’t get into it, but it was one of THE most stressful times of my life. (I can count only 2 other times that were as bad. Getting cancer was one.) The entire remaining family blew up like a freaking volcano. To put the cherry on top of the shit sundae, my best friend of 10+ years abandoned me. Replaced me with someone else. That really hurt. Maybe I shouldn’t blame her. I mean, I couldn’t be the friend she needed; giving her constant validation at all times. Sorry… I digress.

Anyway, I chalked it up to stress when my cycle became irregular, actually gone for the first 5 months. I chalked it up to grief and stress when I would wake in the middle of the night and go into the bathroom for a hard cry for an hour or more. I blamed it on the situation when my mind was scattered; or when I suddenly needed a fan on me when I’ve always hated fans blowing on me. So I didn’t realize that it was menopause on top of everything else. Not until a year later when I asked my doctor if I was starting menopause. He set me straight on the whole progression of things. I was in PRE-menopause. He said it wasn’t menopause until I hadn’t had a period for a year. That included any sign of a period. So pre-menopause was all of the crap that I was going through and would go through until the hormones changed and the estrogen was gone. There wasn’t much that he could do because if he gave me hormone supplements/replacement, it would upset the balance and progression of things and probably make it worse. However, I could take OTC stuff to try to help. Which I did, which helped a little.

powellgardens26

It really helped to know what was happening to me. It helped me to realize that it was the hormones that made me short tempered and overly emotional and sensitive. Sort of like a perpetual PMS. Yeah. That. But at least if I knew what it was and could recognize it, I could control it somewhat. By that, I mean rationalize that it wasn’t the end of the world if the toast got a little too brown. That Hubs didn’t automatically secretly want a divorce just because he forgot to give me a kiss goodbye. (Not that I could blame him.) That I needed to make notes on almost everything because I would forget things within minutes. That fans were now my best friends. And more importantly because I knew what was causing it, and that I was doing these things, that I should apologize whenever necessary. My imagination and sensitivity were not Hubs’ and Dear Son’s fault. They felt bad enough when I would start crying over little things. But now I could say “It’s ok. It’s not your fault. It’s these freaking hormones. I’ll be ok in a minute.” Knowing that it was caused by the hormones and not some end-of-the-world event made it much easier to deal with. Like, it’s not real. The illusion will pass. It’ll be ok.

goldtrail18

This is why the denial is harmful. If you can’t blame the hormones, you’ll blame other people. You believe it’s the other peoples’ fault, and it’s not fair to them. They’ve gotten thrown onto this roller coaster ride right behind you. They didn’t want on it any more than you did and they were just as taken by surprise as you were.

So for now, I guess we will have to deal with Sister’s denial and hope that she gets a light bulb moment. *sigh*

 

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10 thoughts on “Menopause Is A Sadistic B*

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  1. I LOVE the bear sculptures..where did you find those? It would be fun to visit that park and see them ‘live’ (as it were). And for this post? BRAVO!! (clappy hands, whistling and stomping like I did at “Frampton Live” back in … well a LONG time ago..) I really enjoyed the explanation of ‘menopause’ because it’s so much more than just ‘the change’..all those things you highlighted do happen. I had the experience start when I was 47. And I was channeling Linda Blair for YEARS after too. My mother (whom I believe LIED) said “Oh it was no BIG thing..my ‘friend’ just stopped one day and that was that. Well since Ma was sort of psycho to start with, maybe nobody noticed. Me? Night sweats and terrors, hot flashes from the hell where that hormonal demon resides (blast his soul ((and it’s gotta be a GUY right??)), things drying up that I wanted to remain MOIST, and things getting moist (like clothing) that should remain dry. I was snappish and rude and made my then living husband age years – probably why he died so young. And all sorts of things would make me weepy. Your sister will learn. I think maybe it takes experience, personal experience, to really understand. I’m glad for you it’s passed.

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  2. Informing myself about premenopause is the only thing that is stopping me from going crazy. Some days I think my brain belongs to some else and I’m living a life of a stranger. I have frequent conversations with my daughter and hubby about it, both keep telling me to go visit a doctor. No periods for 6 months so I was hoping that was the beginning of the end so to speak but no mother nature had other plans. The hormonal roller coaster continues for another year at least.

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    1. Aw man. 😦 I’m sorry it’s being horrible for you. Believe me when I tell you it WILL pass, eventually. Please know that you’re not going crazy, and that you’re not alone. It may give you some peace of mind to talk to the doctor. ((hugs))

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  3. The bear sculptures are in Missouri at a place called Powell Gardens. It’s fabulous. I wrote about our visit there: https://wordpress.com/posts/sprawly.wordpress.com?s=powell+gardens
    I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! I wasn’t sure how it would be received, but thought what the hey, do it anyway.
    Yes, I still have those same problems that you do, even after all these years(9). The hormone replacement helped but then they took me off of them.
    Those women that say they didn’t even realize they were going through anything? I just look at them like they’re from another planet. They must be. 😉

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  4. I wish I had been given the choice to go through perimenopause at the appropriate age. I was thrown into full menopause with surgery and all of the symptoms natural women get to have for years in moderate doses before finally ending it all happened to me in a four month period of time. Sounds wonderful…four months, right? not so much. Multiply the symptoms by about…oh ten million and ya have what I had to deal with. I was frankly homicidal and suicidal for three of the four months. I would have happily killed to stop the intense hot flashes…..that lasted for hours….the crying jags that lasted days. So very thankful it is completely over. and so sorry for anyone having to go through it all.

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